The Writing on the Wall: The Work of Joane Cardinal-Schubert

February 1 - April 27, 2019

College Art Galleries

Lindsey V. Sharman, Curator

Friday, February 1, 4:00-6:00pm 

The Writing on the Wall weawes through the life and work of this influential Alberta artist. Cardinal-Schubert melds playfulness with astute observation and self-assured critique of the world around her, informed by exhaustive historical knoowledge. the works presented here reflect what the artist was most passionate about: Indigenous rights, environmental activism and bringing to light seldom told Canadian histories. Cardinal-Schubert recognized that these issues intertwine and are inseparable from one another and the works in this exhibition embrace that overlap. 

This exhibition is about stories and about history. Each work is a reaction to what was happening around the artist, around the country, and around the world when they were created. And although each is tied to a place and a time, they address issues that remain relevant. Cardinal-Schubert’s work is cyclical in nature and although many pieces were created 20, 30 or even 40 years ago, the issues that she brings up continue to circle back on all of us. Especially during Canada’s 150th year of confederation, this exhibition provides space and opportunity to review the histories that have brought us to where we are today and can help guide us through to the future.

This exhibition would not be possible without the generous cooperation of the artist’s widower, Mike Schubert and the artist’s son, Justin Cardinal-Schubert. Thank you as well to Rod Green, Masters Gallery Ltd., for his support and to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Nickle Galleries would also like congratulate the University of Calgary Press on the publication of The Writing on the Wall: The Work of Joane Cardinal-Schubert .

Great Canadian Dream-Treaty No. 7, 1978,oil on canvas,Collection of the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.


Rider,1986,oil and graphite on canvas,Collection of the estate of Joane Cardinal-Schubert


About the Artist

Joane Cardinal-Schubert (1942-2009) was an artist, activist, writer, poet, curator, and mentor. She studied printmaking and painting at the Alberta College of Art and Design, the University of Alberta, and the University of Calgary, earning a BFA from UCalgary in 1977. She was curatorial assistant of the University of Calgary Art Gallery from 1977 – 1979 and assistant curator of the Nickle Arts Museum when it opened in 1979 until 1985. In 1986 Cardinal-Schubert was only the fourth woman to be elected into the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA) and in 2003 she received an honourary doctorate from the University of Calgary.